The pain is unbearable. Like so many of you, I woke up to yet another video of a Black man's death autoplaying in my social media feed--and it feels like we're in a never-ending nightmare.
Philando Castile's murder comes less than 24 hours after the cops executed Alton Sterling.1 And it's just as devastating, just as infuriating to wake up to this for the second day in a row. The officer shot him four times after pulling him, his girlfriend, and his daughter over for a broken taillight. Philando's girlfriend, Diamond "Lavish" Reynolds, livestreamed the entire incident on Facebook--you can hear the officer screaming at her while she tries to hold it together and her four-year-old daughter says “It’s ok, Mommy. I’m right here with you.”2 Then Diamond was arrested while the police took her child away.
Philando Castile complied with the officers' orders. He had a concealed carry permit. The only thing he could've done to avoid being killed was to not be Black yesterday.
There's a lot we can't make sense of, but one thing is clear after these two hard days: Law and order is not going to save us. Policing in our communities does NOT equal safety. It has been nearly two years since protestors in Ferguson inspired a national outcry for police accountability.3 But our leaders have only increased their investment in the very police departments that are killing us. They do this with body cameras, racially-biased policing software, and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bills while Black communities deal with the same outcomes of police terror and over-incarceration.4
The Department of Justice still hasn't agreed to launch a federal investigation into Philando's murder--but we're calling on them to bring accountability to the Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights police departments and bring charges in both Alton Sterling's and Philando Castile's cases.
I don't want to wake up to another police killing tomorrow or the day after that.